Buddy Hull / TAB Atlanta East
For over 20 years, Buddy has worked in and around the small business community with great success and impact. After graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1981 with a degree in Marketing, Buddy began his career as the assistant manager for a local steak house restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee. By 1984, annual sales had surpassed $2 million, and Buddy had progressed to Manager, responsible for all operational aspects of the business. This included hiring and scheduling, forecasting daily sales volumes, purchasing and achieving target food costs. In 1984, Buddy joined the newly formed BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Corporation as a yellow pages sales representative in the South Georgia territory. In 1986 he was brought into the Marketing organization and helped build the competitive strategy for the newly competitive directory publishing business.
Throughout the late 1980’s and 1990’s Buddy pioneered and delivered programs designed to help small businesses sell, market and manage their businesses more effectively. The programs included practical sales training for telephone and outside sales representatives, how to build a winning sales team, bringing a customer service culture into the small business, basics of forecasting and budgeting, and strategic and competitive planning.
After completing his Master’s of Business Degree in 1997 from Georgia State University’s Executive MBA program, Buddy joined IBM’s Information Services group as a Global Solutions Executive. He was fortunate to work internationally in the emerging mobile information industry with such giants as Nokia, Ericssen and Lucent Technologies. Working on a global team with partners in Australia, Finland, Great Britain and customers in Scandanavia, Germany, France, Iceland and the Phillipines gave him perspective on the potential impact of mobile and wireless technology on businesses both large and small.
In late 1999, Buddy was recruited back to BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Corporation as Director of Marketing for the almost $2 billion print and online yellow pages business. Buddy drove investment strategy for the print yellow pages business which included new product development, a greater focus on competitive strategy and planning, innovative solutions for the growing spanish language market and expansion into new markets with an integrated print/electronic product portfolio. By 2007, the leadership team of which Buddy was a part had led BellSouth had led the industry for 4 consecutive years with consistent growth in an industry that was in decline. At the purchase of BellSouth by AT&T, Buddy was promoted to Executi ve of Marketing, and he served in that position until his retirement in 2008.
In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Buddy has also owned and run a small real estate investment and property management business for the last 7 years. He is married with two children and lives in the Brookhaven area of Atlanta.
Howard Krinsky / Binders Art Supplies and Frames
Howard is an Atlanta native and is President and passionate owner of Binders Art Supplies & Frames, a 60 year old Atlanta based independent art supply retailer with stores located in Atlanta, GA. and Charlotte NC. He has been in the industry since 1982. Howard serves on the board of the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) and is currently its President Elect. Howard also serves as Chair of the Jay Shapiro Arts Legacy Foundation, a non -profit organization committed to removing barriers for graduating high school seniors wishing to pursue a continued education in fine arts.
Howard is married and father to twin girls, as well as a crazy dog.He is reminded in business everyday of a quote once said by Comedian Steven Wright: “If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving is probably not for you.”
Soraya Rouchdi / Little Davinci International School
Soraya Rouchdi is a passionate professional, a certified preschool director and entrepreneur. She experienced the importance of languages, travels and multicultural awareness in her early age. The valuable exposure tobilingual environment and various cultures and countries allowed her to speak four languages fluently. Soraya enjoyed living and studying in France, Italy, North Africa, and the United States. Soraya pursued her college education in Paris and Lille (France), where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Lille III University.
Soraya moved to the United States from the French Riviera in 1998. Her objective with her husband was to raise international children, open minded and tolerant, while developing their multicultural and multilingual spirit in an era of globalization. In order to maintain her children’s exposure to the French language and culture, Soraya developed a new concept and program adapted to their needs. She also implemented it with different groups of native and non-native speaking children. Her thorough research related to public and private school systems in Atlanta and France, in addition to her cooperation with different curriculum and educational material specialists, led to the creation and elaboration of the Little Da Vinci International School approach of learning.
Soraya started her career as a Financial Advisor with Fleming Finance Holdings in Paris (currently JP Morgan), where she built and managed new accounts portfolio. In 2001, she joined Ahlstrom Paper Group in Atlanta where she managed the supply chain for strategic accounts ($12M revenue/year) in the label and packaging industry. Soraya enjoyed working in an international atmosphere where she could use her multilingual skills, and commitment to excellence.
Soraya is an active PTA member in the schools where her children attend; she is also an elected board member of Ridgeview Charter School, and a Parent Chair of the science and math text book committee. In addition to her volunteering and home schooling activities, Soraya enjoys spending quality time with her family. She likes cooking international meals, reading, listening to world music, meeting friends and Jazzercise.